The Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula has accused the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago for failing to constitute standing committees and calling meetings without due notice to the Councillors and the Technical Wing of the Authority.
This was during Musisi’s appearance before the KCCA tribunal as a 21st witness. The Tribunal was set up to hear a petition by Councillors who petitioned the Minister in Charge of Kampala Frank Tumwebaze to remove Lukwago from office. They accuse the Mayor of incompetence, abuse of office, mismanagement and use of abusive language.
The tribunal of three was thereby appointed by Minister Tumwebaze and it is chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and it is also constituted of two other members Honourable Alfred Okello Oryem and Honourable Joska Ocaya-Lakidi.
Musisi told the tribunal that Lukwago often called meetings without a due notice of two weeks that is provided for in the KCCA Act. She said sought legal advice from the Solicitor general and Deputy Attorney General who advised that all meetings should have proper notice to be convened.
Musisi informed the tribunal that Lukwago ignored the advice saying that special meetings do not require a two weeks’ notice.
Musisi further told the tribunal that despite reminders to the Lord Mayor in writing together with the councillors and Minister Tumwebaze, Lukwago did not constitute the committees or even take any actions about it. She submitted a memo she wrote to the Clerk and the internal memo she wrote to Lukwago reminding him to constitute committees to the tribunal as evidence of her advisory role as a technical person in the Authority.
She noted that due to the impact she receives from the lack of committees, she was prompted to go ahead with reminding the Lord Mayor of his duty.
She further said that the councillors out of frustration petitioned Minister Tumwebaze about the absence of the committee and the Minister wrote to Lukwago to immediately constitute committees but he still failed to do so.
Musisi however told the tribunal that the Lukwago got back to Tumwebaze on the committees giving him his stand which was also copied to her but denied having a copy during the testimony and still noted that she could not recall what the response was saying exactly.
Okello Oryem questioned why the committees are of importance to the running of the City and the effect of their absence to the people of Kampala. Ocaya-Lakidi asked why there seems to be work going on around the city yet committees were not called.
Musisi explained that the City is run or managed on two fronts one being on behalf of Central government and the local government component.
She said that when committees are not constituted work in the city is done technically by the technical wing in the city.
However she noted that the Authority has lost local revenues and that the citizens in particular have lost out on certain service delivery due to the political side not playing its part of monitoring projects, gathering views and getting feedback from the citizens and the lack of committees.
Musisi also noted that the Authority misses out on the participation from the people of Kampala but however noted that due to the importance of the citizenry in the building of the city. The technical wing has now resorted to foras citing Barazas to get the people in the city on board which she said was a desperate measure taken by the technical wing in KCCA.
On the relationship between Musisi and Lukwago, Okello Oryem asked Musisi to give the tribunal a picture of their relationship. He wondered if Musisi ever walks into Lukwago’s office to communicate to him face to face but not formally as she earlier informed.
Musisi said that she tried to communicate to the Lukwago on different occasions but it became difficult since they had different agenda. She described Lukwago’s political role as directly contrary to her technical role as a government appointee.
She cited a meeting she was supposed to have with Lukwago which the mayor failed to attend. She claimed that he stood her up the whole day without any communication to her personal assistants who tried to get in touch with the Lord Mayor’s office throughout the day.
Musisi told the tribunal that her relationship became worse and more difficult when Lukwago resorted to the media where she alleged that he referred to the technical wing of KCCA as prostitutes, thieves and being high handed.
Musisi said she went as far as trying to reach out to Lukwago through politicians like Democratic Party President Norbert Mao to mend their relationship. Mao promised to speak Lukwago but the relationship did not improve.
On the necessity of KCCA having a speaker as the clerk told the tribunal before, Oryem asked Musisi whether she thought this was a problem that is giving Lukwago problems in the running of council meeting.
Musisi said that basing on her experience from the corporate setting, she finds great difficulty in understanding why Lukwago has failed to call or convene meetings.
She also said that for the technical wing to be part of meetings, it is important for the technical people to be informed early enough to so that they attend saying that they are so busy and over stretched.